When Difficult Questions Are Left Unanswered

It was supposed to be the annual celebration of the community. Booths were already put up and the community square is alive with the buzz of festivities. But the joyous noise were drowned by nine shots. People frantically ran for cover when the initial shock wore off. The kaleidoscopic turn of the Tamiao community stopped and faded to grey. Now the nights leading to their feast day only resounds with the background buzzing of crickets. No more are the laughs, only sorrow and fear. Questions abound, left unanswered by those series of shots that silenced joy.

This is the sad story of the Tamiao community in Compostela. The baranggay is not far from Don Bosco Liloan which is located in the adjacent baranggay of Cotcot, Liloan. The frantic screams were even heard by some in Don Bosco. An assassin sneaked past the crowd of onlookers of a variety show, aimed his barrel at the nape of Mr. Marieto Yraola and shot him point blank. The ensuing chaos claimed two lives for collateral damage, four more wounded, and a community shaken by shock and fear.

Fr. Jhun Paradiang asked me to come with him to the wake. The atmosphere was quiet. Most eyes were wide but empty. People were asking questions, “Why God, why?”

To me, the killer and those behind the plan did not just disposed of their target. With no reason to explain, two families are left without a father, another family with children below eight years old were left without a mother. They not only took out lives, they also killed the spirit of the community.

Surely, this is no will of God. Sadly, it is human will that brings about events like this. Human history is marred with selfishness and pride that takes a dig at the core of all that we value in life. I believe that the God who rejoiced with the community in their annual festivities is now among them sharing their tears. Perhaps, He too is asking, “Why man, why?”



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